Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop All Amazon Fashion Up to 70% off Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Shop Amazon Fire TV Shop now Shop Fire HD 6 Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

522
4.6 out of 5 stars
Memoirs Of A Geisha
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:£6.79+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2006
This book is probably one of the best I've ever read. It allows an insight into a culture that isn't really understood in Western society, and shows what life is actually like for a geisha of Gion. It opens your eyes to another, completely different world and does it in a way that makes you think about it from an objective point of view, rather than comparing it to our lives and culture.
Reading Memoirs of a Geisha is entertaining, funny and thought-provoking, often sad but always heart warming - despite some of the customs/events that would be shocking in the UK, you're never tempted to judge Sayuri (the main character, the geisha) for her actions. Instead you live through it with her and understand what and why she did.
This book is inspirational in that Sayuri goes through so much just to survive, and yet the way the book is written lets us see that it's not unusual for a geisha to go through even more than she did.
I would recommend Memoirs of a Geisha even to people who usually like a lighter read, because even though it's sometimes sad and makes you think a lot, it's also funny and you really feel for Sayuri. A brilliant and utterly engaging read.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 4 November 2005
I used to laugh at people who would say "god i cant put this book down" but when i read this i honestly couldn't. The book practically transports you into this magical world of Japan where you get a vivid insight into the world of geisha's. I have never felt so passionate about a book before and after this my whole aspect on life changed. I may sound really over the top but;Oh my god what a read!!!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 13 January 2006
The novel is a fantastic, enchanting read. The author's narrative is flows easily and never fails to amaze with its sheer poetry, vastness and breath of feeling. Golden tells an enchantic tale, a novel that is definitely one of my favourites. It is colourful, vivid, passionate, mysterious and almost magical in the sense that it completely absorbs the reader into a story that no one else could have told so well. Definitely worth reading!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 November 2008
If you have only experienced the movie, let me make it as clear as possible: you have barely scraped the surface. This a very rich and rewarding novel that will absorb you into another time, a far away land and a completely alien mentality. Welcome to the Floating World of the Geishas in its twilight.

This is loosely based on the true story of Mineko Iwasaki (whose much more accurate autobiography is also available under the title Geisha: A Life) presented in the form of a novel by a brilliant Arthur Golden (too bad he did not follow up his success with a second novel).

Japan in the years following WWI was a country in transition. The old ways were on their way out yet they have a way of soothing the soul of any nation, especially one found itself caught in limbo, between progress and tradition. In this transitional world Sayuri is offered the chance to become a Geisha. The unique color of her eyes, her patience and artistic abilities soon propel her to the position of the most famous Geisha of them all. But one should always be wary of what he wishes for.

Fame and success are never a guarantee for personal happiness. Predictably, Sayuri's love story is bittersweet and has many false starts. In fear of spoilers, I shall only say that life is never boring.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 10 June 2006
Memoirs of a Geisha is the perfect novel. It is the sort of book that only comes by every so often and in this one you will unfold a hidden world of beauty. The story begins in the 1920's but the course of the novel is set over a period of many years, which include those of the second world war. Chiyo-chan is a nine year old girl from a small fishing village, her life so far has been simple and happy, until her mother grows terminally and eventually fatally ill. No longer able to cope, Chiyo's father arranges for her

and her sister Satsu to be taken to a distant region of Japan, Gion one of the many Geisha districts. On arrival they are seperated and Chiyo is sent to the Nitta okiya to become a Geisha. But the life of a Geisha proves to be very difficult for Chiyo who later becomes the celebrated Geisha, Sayuri.

This book is one of the best i have ever read, the tale becomes so absorbing that Chiyo's life becomes yours for the duration of the novel. Along the way you will meet characters such as the mischeivous Pumpkin, the greedy Mother of the Nitta okiya, the Beautiful Mamaeha-san and the malicious Hatsumomo.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 31 October 2008
I only picked this book up as it was one of the '1001 books to read before you die' and i've heard some great reviews of it. I don't know whether i'm too judgmental or i was expecting too much, but i was pretty disappointed.

Ive never read a book that starts so well and ends so badly. The first half - up until the war - is well written, dramatic, emotional and exciting. However, after the war and after Hatsumomo leaves it disintegrates and i found where previously i hadn't been able to put it down, i was becoming less and less inclined to pick it up. I increasingly found Sayuri harder and harder to like and therefor care about, and the trite 'happily ever after' ending left me feeling cheated. A novel that has the potential to be really great but ends up as mediocre.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 November 1998
From the first page this book is a captivating read. I stayed up several nights to finish this book - to the detriment of my work!
Sayuri's early life has a fairytale quality and it is this that the reader identifies with. Like Cinderalla, you want Sayuri to succeed.
When the plot moves to Kyoto we begin to see the beautiful intricacy of Japanese society and get some understanding of a geisha's life. I found this attention to detail totally absorbing and often at odds with my limited knowledge of time and place. Absolutely recommended for a easy read.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 30 March 2000
Memoirs of a Geisha is a very, historically and emotionally, interesting novel. It explores the life of a famous Japanese Geisha and is supposedly addapted from her real memoirs. This could be why it is so informative and realistic. Credit must be given to the author however, as he had to translate the memoirs and has done a beautiful job in doing so. The language used really portrays the feelings and conditions of life in Japan in the good times and during war time. The Japanese culture is reflected beautifully through the works and I really feel as though I have learnt a great deal from this reading. The Memoirs follow the life of a young Japanese girl who is sold off by her father to an okyia at a very young age. She is told she will become a geisha, but during training has many falls and the hope of it ever happening is lost. She is given a second chance by a very prestigious geisha "Mahema" and manages to become quite successfull. However the whole way through the story she is lacking the one thing she desires, love. In this way the novel turns into a romance toward the end because it does follow this genre pattern. All in all, this is definatly worth the read and won't leave you dissapointed.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2011
It's been a while since I read this book and I probably need to read it again - liked it that much. I won't repeat the dissection of the plot except to say that, when reading the book, my imagination was fired up by the descriptions of the richly coloured clothing and this fascinating, rigidly structured, extremely formal world of the geisha. I bought the DVD and was severely disappointed by the drabness (half the time couldn't even see what was going on). So I would recommend the book, rather than the film.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2011
Read this book quite a while ago but absolutely loved it.
Drawn in to the story and characters straight from the start and was swept along to the end.
Do read the book before seeing the film as the book is so much better.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Memoirs of a Geisha [DVD]
Memoirs of a Geisha [DVD] by Suzuka Ohgo (DVD - 2006)
£3.09


The Help
The Help by Kathryn Stockett (Paperback - 13 May 2010)
£3.85
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.